Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's a...

Girl! (!!!!!!!!!)

She was born around 9pm on Monday night, weighing in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces—nearly a pound less than her sister.

Full story before long. Until then, the short version: contractions, epidural, nap, 15 minutes of pushing, then she slid out all by herself. No rips, no tears—sort as if it was a job a vagina was meant to do.

We're thrilled to have a family of girls. I'm already looking forward to movie nights.

If you're in the mood, send snacks. We especially like muffins.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hot Pink

I went for my “daily” (read: biweekly) walk this morning, which has become a slow, epic waddle rather than a brisk 30 minute walk, but which I’m proud of myself for doing. I harbor no illusions that these walks will induce labor—it’s clear my offspring are the kind of people who will wait to do things when they’re good and ready—but it feels good to move my body, to get fresh air, to take in the riot of tuplips and daffodils and cherry blossoms that make this whole  “spring baby” thing a delight. (Well, a theoretical delight—were I capable of feeling delight rather than just profound pressure on my bladder and lady parts.)

The real highlight of this morning’s walk, though, was not the explosion of flora (which you would think in and of itself would induce labor) but the fact that I managed to walk quickly enough to pass a fellow walker! Granted, he was, like, eighty years old and walking with a cane, but still! I passed him! Take that, old guy.

I then took Dr. Husband up on his offer to take the two-year-old out for an adventure (read: to the grocery store that has carts with giant plastic “drivable” cars attached to the front), while I got myself a cherry-blossom-pink pedicure and started reading Jillian Lauren's memoir about life in a harem. Generally speaking, I’m not a pedicure kind of woman (granted, I did love the one I got in Chicago in January—which lasted literally for months), but when facing the imminent prospect of staring at your feet in stirrups, it’s nice to have, you know, a hot-pink focal point. Plus, I couldn’t reach down there myself to strip off my old, peeling polish. Plus, what other treats even exist for a nine-months-pregnant lady? I mean, besides the treat of GOING INTO LABOR ALREADY, GODDAMMIT!

photo courtesy mensatic, morgueFile

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thirty-Nine Weeks, Four Days

It turns out my kid's eardrum (which we did not realize was infected) perforated, and my hyper-competent cervix stopped dilating.

In other words: no baby yet. And no Parent of the Year Awards, either.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Dr. Husband has a huge, anxiety-inducing work thing tomorrow, the two-year-old is home from preschool all week for "spring break," my therapist is out of town, and could someone PLEASE just focus on ME this week?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Thirty-Nine Weeks and Two Days

Last night I dreamed about things spilling—water, juice, milk, glue. I dreamed twice of glue spilling—or, more precisely, a glue stick melting for unknown reasons onto our coffee table. Twice.

I thought maybe the dream was a sign of impending labor—cervical effacement analogies, anyone?—but no.

Instead I have a kid with an ear that mysteriously smells like an extra-yeasty English muffin and a pediatrician's appointment during her regularly scheduled naptime tomorrow. By which time I had hoped I would have magically given birth, as I have an appointment with my OB in the morning and was harboring plans to demand she wave her sparkly wand over my lady parts to get this show on the road.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thirty-Nine Weeks

Don't trust this face!
So. My due-date is one week from today. I'm decidedly in the window in which I could go into labor AT ANY MINUTE, though I'm trying not to think about it this way. It turns out that thinking, "This might be the last time I visit the grocery store before I go into labor," and "This might be the last time I take a slow, huffing walk (waddle) before I go into labor," and "This might be the last time I get to shave my legs before I go into labor" and "This might be the last time I have to put on this stupid dress and have my picture taken" makes the time pass excruciatingly slowly.

Instead I'm pretending that I'm going to be pregnant forever. I'm depressed as hell, but the time is just whizzing by!

Things I Will Miss About Pregnancy

1. The awesome power of creating new life with my own body.

2. People giving me stuff because I look enormous and uncomfortable—like a seat on the shuttle at the airport. Or like yesterday when a woman gave me her lightly-nibbled biscuit at my favorite neighborhood cafe when she heard me lamenting that they were sold out.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Things I Won't Miss About Pregnancy

(One for each year of my life, listed roughly in order of how deeply I will not miss them.)

1. Barfing. (I spared you yet another barfing post last night. You can thank me in the form of gift cards sent to my email address.) Relatedly, carsickness-like nausea (it's not just for first trimesters, it turns out!)

2. Indigestion. Indigestion might not sound that terrible if you've never had it, but it's taken away all pleasure in eating or drinking for many, many months now. The only foods that don't seem to trigger a feeling of "Oh my god, this food is just sort of hanging out in my esophagus making me feel a tetch queasy and more than a tetch cranky" are salted almonds. Fresh salted almonds. If I eat one almond approaching middle age, I can't digest properly again until the next day. It's dispiriting, to say the least.

3. Not being able to carry my two-year-old up the stairs, even if she's really tired and asks really nicely. Similarly, not being able to properly snuggle the two-year-old anymore, what with the giant belly in the way.

4. The total lack of uncomplicated sex.

5. Never feeling sexy. (See #4)

6. Everything from the dishwasher to the cafe down the street to our shower curtains smelling like ass.

7. Weighing more than my husband. (This is a tie with “Extra-heavy-duty-muffin-top from all the nausea-prevention pregnancy eating.") (See #5)

8. Achy hips that cause me to flip over and over and over like a rotisserie chicken all night long.

9. Insomnia—caused either by hip pain (see #6) or flippy baby or hormones or general Major Life Change anxieties—any way you slice it, it's very irritating to not be able to sleep properly in the months leading up to a period of Infamous Sleep Deprivation.

10. Varicose veins. On my vulva. (See #5)

11. Being regarded in public as nothing more than a giant stomach with legs. (Read: I miss occasionally being looked at like I’m sort of hot by various nearsighted dweebs and elderly men.)

12. Forty-pound breasts. (Which you think might help with #10, but doesn't seem to. Apparently we all have limits.)

13. Not being able to drink in any kind of quantity. (See #4)

14. Not being able to drink hard liquor (in public).

15. Not being able to wear pants.

16. Maternity clothes. (See #5)

17. Not being able to wear any shoes other than Dansko clogs. (See # 5)

18. Not being able to get comfortable in any sort of sitting position.

19. Not being able to walk up the stairs without getting winded.

20. Not being able to run—by which I mean “move quickly,” not, like “go for a run,” which I don’t do.

21. Not being able to easily put on my own socks or pants.

22. Not being able to see my own vagina.

23. Meaningless contractions.

24. Fatigue.

25. Not being able to take Advil for random aches and pains.

26. Not being able to see—or reach—my feet.

27. Frequent(er) peeing.

28. A warped sense of balance. (Read: enhanced klutziness).

29. Not being able to drink room temperature water. (See #1)

30. Someone else's elbows and knees jamming into my innards 24/7.

31. Not being able to ingest even a garnish-y amount of chives or green onions. (See #1)

32. Waddling. (See #s 5, 8 & 11)

33. Water retention. (See #7. Oh, if only it were just baby + water!)

34. Not being able to tolerate loud music for some inexplicable reason.

35. Not being able to pick things up off the floor.

36. Not being able to lift heavy things, move furniture when I get the urge, or shove bullies out of the way.

37. Not liking coffee. In fact, the thing I’m most looking forward to other than holding my new babe in my arms is drinking a piping hot cup of coffee and having it be delicious. (See #s 1, 2 & 24)

Meaningless Contractions

If I may complain for one more moment (and since this is my blog, I may)—I'm having somewhat uncomfortable contractions many times a day and many times a night—have been for about a month now—and still I probably won't go into spontaneous labor in the next week-and-a-half? Don't cramping and contractions and effacement and dilation and +1 station MEAN anything anymore?

I liked the contractions when I thought they were getting me somewhere, but now that I know they aren't getting me anywhere quickly enough to make much of a difference in terms of when I'm likely to deliver (read: I could easily be 10 days late again), they make me a little crabby. The way it would make anyone crabby to have menstrual cramps off and on for 3 straight days that you're not allowed to take Advil (or red wine) for.

I'm grateful to be healthy, grateful the baby appears to be healthy, grateful I'm not on bed rest or pregnant with quadruplets or fifteen years old or single or living in poverty or in Mississippi or with a Republican—but still. Get me a baby already.


photo courtesy duboix, morgueFile

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cervical Update

Apparently my cervix—the baby's gateway to the world!—is a tiny bit more effaced than last week and a tiny bit more dilated—like one centimeter instead of "just a smidge over not at all." Nevertheless, my historically psychic obstetrician thinks I'm not likely to give birth until sometime after my due date. Probably not TEN days late, but probably not "on time" or "early." It took eating two rolls of Rolos to cheer myself up from this news, and I use that phrase loosely. I'm still pretty bummed. Two more weeks of this nonsense?

On the upside, the Rolos were free because the OB was running late and the nurse felt really bad for me for having to sit there half naked on an uncomfortable exam table for a full hour, so she gave me a little handmade coupon that she said I could redeem at the front desk for either a parking voucher or a Starbucks gift card. "The girls at the front desk will know what to do with it." Since the doctor didn't arrive in the examining room for another ten minutes, I had plenty of time to decide what I would choose.

Parking voucher?

Too utilitarian.

Starbucks gift card?

The idea of coffee still makes me hurl, BUT, in a matter of weeks—maybe even days—I will SO be making up for all that lost time. There's nothing like being made nauseous by your favorite treat to remind you that you are, in fact, pregnant and that pregnancy does, in fact, suck. What better way to celebrate the end of this ordeal (for once and for all because after this I am NOT HAVING ANY MORE BABIES) than with Seattle's most famous (even if not the best) latte?

When I gave the coupon to one of the girls/women at the front desk, however, she did not ask whether I preferred to be compensated with parking garage time or caffeine. Instead she handed me four crisp one dollar bills, which felt super weird. Like she was paying me for my urine sample or for my time—four dollars for eighty minutes? That's as bad as jury duty pay! Anyway, I bought some Rolos and rented five movies from the video store (can you believe I've never seen the original Footloose? Me neither), and I'm going to attempt to take this one day at a time. And because my OB is out of town until Monday and I desperately want her to be the person who delivers my baby, a large part of me is actually hoping I don't go into labor in the next five days. Which is some kind of consolation, I guess.

photo courtesy marykbaird, morgueFile

Sunday, April 08, 2012

I Will Not...

watch the pot. I will not watch the pot. I will not watch the pot. I will not...

I am such a pot-watcher at the end of pregnancy. I can't pay attention to very much else, lose myself in anything else, fully engage with anything else. In the fall of 2009 I got to obsessively follow swine flu news stories. This time all I have is Republican presidential nominee news threads, and that's just too depressing.

I suppose I could organize all my digital photo and music files, but really? Must I? Why can't this baby boil already?!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Thirty-Seven Weeks and Six Days

Have I mentioned that this baby is super active? Like kicking and scooting his/her rump around seemingly all the time? Even the OB comments on it every time she tries to find the baby's heartbeat and the heart keeps moving out of range due to scooting. It's reassuring and delightful--though slightly less so at 3 in the A.M. And, to be perfectly frank, it's occasionally a bit exhausting during the daylight hours too. It has led us to wonder on more than one occasion whether this baby going to be awake and kicking and scooting all the time once it's born, too. Terrifying.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Efface This!

For those of you following the progression of my cervix (and really, what better things do you have to do with your time?), you will be pleased (but not one-millionth as pleased as me) to know that it's about 50% effaced and a teeny tiny bit—read: more than "not at all!"—dilated. For those of you who haven't had children ever or recently and those of you without a cervix of your own or any prior reason to pay attention to cervixes (cervixi?), what this means is: I probably won't still be pregnant ten days after my due date this time (April 21, for those keeping track at home).

At this rate, I could even go—gasp—early.

The baby is even at "+1 station," which the first kid didn't hit until I was checked into the hospital hooked up to an IV pumping me full of drugs to get the party started. What "+1 station" means exactly is unclear to me, too, but -3 is nowhere near the cervix and +3 is crowning, so +1 is good news for those of us who are antsy to go ahead and have this baby already.

I'll confess I'm not as tired and miserable and uncomfortable and enormous-feeling as I was the last time I was nearly 38 weeks pregnant, but still. Enough is enough. I'm ready to move on. The indigestion alone...

Plus, boy or girl? I don't know about you, but the suspense is killing me.

photo courtesy cohdra, morgueFile

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Miracle of Life—Part 397

I was up for nearly two hours last night having fake contractions or practice contractions or pre-pre-labor contractions or I don't know what. What I do know is they were seriously uncomfortable. Like baaaad menstrual cramps for which you're not allowed to take Advil. Or, more to the point, whiskey. And I've been having them many times a day for the past few days and they're quite a bit more painful than the clearly Braxton-Hicks (read: fake) ones I started having a month or two ago. I hope this means that my cervix is DOING something, because if all this discomfort is caused by make-believe, do-nothing contractions, it's going to be a veeeeeeeeeeeeeeery long two-and-a-half (or, heaven help me, four) weeks.

Go, cervix, go!

photo courtesy anusharaji, morgueFile

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Thirty-Seven-and-a-Half-Weeks Pregnant

Yesterday was one of Those Days. My prenatal massage therapist got sick and had to cancel, the guy I was meeting with to have a mini-book club meeting confessed he hadn't read the book, the two-year-old refused to take a nap, a visiting friend's flight arrived at midnight instead of the more pregnancy-friendly hour of 9pm, I seem to have come down (for, like, the third time this year) with a weird vertigo-inducing inner ear virus, and, as I already mentioned, there was the barfing.

Also, when I called one of the references of the sitter I was hoping to hire, she confessed that she herself would not re-hire the sitter in question.

And the preschool down the street that I'd fallen in love with this winter confirmed—again and still—that they don't have a spot for my daughter next year.

At least I'm not thirty-seven-and-a-half-weeks pregnant and hormonal and weepy as hell! Then things would be ugly!

photo courtesy clarita, morgueFile

Monday, April 02, 2012

A Last Hurrah?

I am here to report/lament/whine that my barfies are back. It had been months... I'd gotten complacent... I thought I wouldn't barf again until I was in labor—but I was wrong.

And can I just say, RETCHING IS SO WRETCHED!

I'd just hit the point in this whole shenanigan where I'd convinced myself another day of pregnancy is no big deal—in fact, it's one fewer day of screaming from an inconsolable not-100%-fully-baked newborn. But after being up half the night last night with heartburn and being a ridiculous, projectile mess tonight (which the two-year-old handled like a champ—she kept giving me hugs and offering up one of her baby dolls and saying—completely nonjudgmentally—"Mama pee-pee on the floor?" when she saw me wiping up the bathroom tile repeatedly), I'm not so sure. As I recall from the last time I did this, having a baby in your arms is so much better than having one displacing your intestines, severely messing with your figure, and fucking up your hormones.

I'm ready, baby! I mean, aside from hiring babysitting help, figuring out what to do with the two-year-old while I'm at the hospital, installing the infant car seat, sterilizing the binkies, and choosing a name—aside from all that, I'm ready. Bring it, wee one.

photo courtesy zerosilence3, morgueFile

Mama Loves Babies

As you might imagine, we've been talking a lot about babies around here recently—reading books from the library about bringing home a new baby, hanging out with friends with babies, practicing safe holding habits with our baby dolls, preparing the new baby's room and wardrobe, complaining about the baby taking up space where my lungs rightfully belong—that sort of thing. I've been very concerned about the two-year old feeling displaced by her new sibling so have been trying to keep the lines of communication open about the situation without planting any ideas in her head (like, "Are you feeling so, so mad inside that when the new baby comes the amount of attention you're currently getting will be cut by more than half and your life will never be the same?"). So far she seems pretty cool about it all.

As she was happily feeding a bottle to one of her dolls the other day, I asked her if she loved babies. She said, "No—Mama loves babies." She said it with just a hint of judgment, a suggestion of an eye-roll, the way a loving, doting daughter might say, "Mama loves lottery tickets" or "Mama loves whiskey" or "Mama loves K-Mart."

I suppose this is good. She knows where I stand. I do love me some babies, especially the ones that spring forth from my loins. (This month, people! This baby is coming out sometime THIS MONTH!)

photo courtesy idahoeditor, morgueFile